Welcome back, Provost Simpson

Aug 13, 2010

Kettering will welcome noted educator Dr. Robert L. Simpson as Provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, beginning Sept. 1.

Dr. Robert L. Simpson has been named Kettering University’s Provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.  His appointment begins Sept. 1.

Simpson replaces Dr. Michael Harris, who left Kettering to become the Chancellor at Indiana University – Kokomo.  Simpson previously served Kettering as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs during the 2006-07 academic year. 

President Stan Liberty called Simpson an excellent academic leader – respected, experienced and with a strong academic reputation.  “Robert is the right person at this time and I am pleased he will be returning to our campus.”

Simpson said he is excited and pleased to be coming back to campus.  “Kettering has outstanding educational programs and the opportunity to meet the educational needs of the region, country and world,” he said.  “The thing that makes Kettering unique is the combination of experiential learning and formal classroom learning.  The students who come through Kettering are truly prepared for work, service to their community and their families.”

Simpson noted he especially likes Kettering students because of their talent to both respect and challenge authority.  “Kettering students are outgoing, knowledgeable and mature.  They respect authority but are willing to challenge it and have the ability to do so.  I also really look forward to working with Kettering’s dedicated faculty and staff,” he added.

Simpson brings a long list of academic credentials to Kettering.  He is currently a professor of Biology and Environmental Science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  He was the interim provost at Kettering University in 2006-07.  Past educational experiences include serving as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and a Professor of Biology, at The University of Michigan-Dearborn since 1991; dean at William Paterson College; and department chair and faculty member at Rider College.

He received a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and a master’s degree in Biology (with honors) from Fresno State College in Fresno, Calif., and a Ph.D. in Limnology from Cornell University.  His research focuses on freshwater wetlands. He has co-edited three books, Freshwater Wetlands: Ecological Processes and Management Potential, Ecology of Soil Seed Banks, and Seedling Ecology and Evolution and published numerous research articles. He served as president of the New Jersey Academic of Science and presently serves as a member of the Accreditation Review Council of the Higher Learning Commission.

He and his wife, Penelope, have two adult children, Robert, and Elizabeth, and live in West Bloomfield.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
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